Lawyers intimidating judges

One of my longstanding peeves is that property rights and economic regulation cases are often depicted as pitting "pro-business" interests against an "anti-business" or pro-consumer camp.

Rarely does this frame accurately reflect the real issues at stake.

Judge Sotomayor and her Second Circuit panel ruled that this taking was for a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.

Since business interests were arrayed on both sides, describing the decision as "pro-business" or "anti-business" is misleading.

Rather, the decision involved a clash between property rights and the power of government, which is sometimes exercised on behalf of locally powerful business interests such as Wasser against politically weaker landowners (some of whom are businesses themselves). anti-business frame is even less relevant to Krimstock than Didden.

Sotomayor's opinion in Krimstock struck down a New York City law that allowed the government to seize cars belonging to certain criminal defendants and hold them for years at a time without giving the owners any opportunity whatsoever to contest the seizures.

As I explained in this post, one businessman - politically connected developer Gregory Wasser - used the the threat of condemnation to try to force two other businessmen to pay him 0,000 or give him a 50% stake in their business.

But it would also be a mistake to view pro-property rights decisions as "anti-business." After all, many of the victimized property owners are themselves businesspeople, as was true in Didden, Poletown, Kelo, and many other cases.If you have recommendations, positive, negative, or (especially) comparative, please post them, or e-mail me at volokh at edu. Reading the VC comment threads post-Sotomayor, it's interesting how many of them are quickly descending into name-calling and over-the-top accusations from both sides.Granted, there is always a part of that with open blog comments: Some folks post Internet comments to enilghten, others to vent.I don't see any way in which Sotomayor's decision was somehow "pro-business," except in the trivial sense that some of the car owners might also have been businesspeople.Rather, this case too pitted the power of government against property owners, many of whom might have been poor or politically weak."Started in 2002, the Bastiat Prize was inspired by 19th-century French philosopher Frédéric Bastiat’s compelling defence of liberty and eloquent explanations of complex economic issues.Judges have included former UK Chancellor Lord Lawson, Pulitzer prize-winning author Anne Applebaum, former Bastiat Prize winner and best-selling author Amity Shlaes, Lady Thatcher and Nobel laureates James Buchanan and the late Milton Friedman." "Last year’s competition" -- which didn't include an Online Journalism category -- "attracted over 250 entrants from more than 50 countries.But as Anne Neal reports, we both did get reprimanded by our respective boards of trustees for speech crimes, Forbes for criticizing Princeton's hiring of Peter Singer while he was serving on the board there.She also reports that University of California Regent John Moores got in trouble for asking scandalous questions about whether UC was violating state law in its admissions practices.We're looking for reliability, easy of use, and a good feature set.We'd naturally prefer if it wasn't very expensive, but if it costs some money to do this right, we'll likely be happy to spend it.

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